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Everything posted by frogfish12

  1. @hallasm I was about to book....Windstar changed the port times about a week ago. The original times were Flam10:00-15:30. Olden 11:00-18:00. Geiranger 10:00-17:00. They are now Geiranger and Olden both 7:00-13:30 and Flam 8:00-14:30 Approx what time does the ship enter the fjord? Are the times bad now? Will I be able to see as much? Also there doesn't seem to be enough time for excursions? Should I even consider this cruise? Thank you again!! Can't find any other cruise with these 3 ports and an itinerary that I like. Plus I've a feeling there will be more changes, maybe land-based is the better way...
  2. were you asking me or hallasm? I've never sailed on Windstar One of the fjord ports was switched on Silversea this summer, canceled the day of on Disney cruise, NCL and RCCL have also changed/canceled ports on their Norway itinerary. I have to search to find the specific port/ship Also interested in the Silver Dawn itinerary someone asked about a few pages back but after learning about the port change.... Has anyone visited the Norway fjords land-based? If yes, please share your experience, is it worth doing? did you take a day cruise and which one? (I hope it's ok to ask this question here). Thanks in advance!
  3. @hallasm thank you for your answer. I'm mainly interested in the fjords and have been to Oslo and Bergen before so concerned that one of the ports will be switched, canceled or missed the day of due to whatever reason. From reading here it happens quite often. Also as you said the port times are short and sometimes the ship can arrive late! Therefore the alternative is to do this land-based, can you please take a look at this itinerary? https://norway.nordicvisitor.com/travel-deals/coastal-voyages-cruise-tours/geiranger-fjord-majestic-railways/653/ It has Flam railway. Geiranger, Sognefjord, Aurlandfjord, no Olden but Alesund. It's not a guided tour so an extra night can be added along the routing. What do you think of the tour? Will it be about the same as doing the above cruise? Thanks again
  4. Hi @hallasm and Norway experts, can you please take a look and tell me what you think of this itinerary? Star Legend from Edinburgh to Copenhagen. I looked back 4-5 pages but didn't see anything about this one https://www.windstarcruises.com/cruise/overview/northerneurope/edinburgh-to-copenhagen/norways-famous-fjords/?pkgid=366949 Flam is 10:00-15:30. Olden is 11:00-18:00. Geiranger is 10:00-17:00. Is the arrival time ok and will there be enough time? What do you think about the rest of the ports? Thank you!
  5. I'm still waiting, hoping someone can do a report on the 14 night from Bridgetown to Balboa (vice versa) or either 7-night segment. There is report on the ship but as new_cruiser said Aruba to Balboa is a new itinerary and I'm very curious about visiting San Blas, Bocas del Toro and Santa Marta from a Windstar cruise.
  6. -I don't drink alcohol so don't want to get a package. I don't see a zero-alcohol package. What drinks are complimentary on Star Pride? juices? Is there refillable water and does it taste ok? -Does anyone know what are "Star Collector voyages"? Is it something special or just two 7-night combined? Thank you @Ski Mom 2 so you are doing the 14-night in January, I hope you can do a report. Happy cruising! In case anyone is wondering, some didn't have air conditioning on Star Pride for days so I wanted to know if there's any problem this year
  7. Hi came across this interesting itinerary on Star Pride, very few cruises go to San Blas and Bocas del Toro. Has anyone done this? https://www.windstarcruises.com/cruise/overview/collector/balboa-fuerte-amador-to-bridgetown/windward-islands-spanish-new-world/?pkgid=325076 Panama Canal, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Santa Marta, Cartagena, ABC Islands, Mayreau, St Lucia, Bridgetown I think Star Pride does this itinerary yearly but couldn't find anything on this board or any review. -Has anyone been on Star Pride recently. Was air conditioning running ok for all cabins? Any comments about the ship or food appreciated -Is it true you can't set foot on San Blas Islands? I noticed there are no excursions for San Blas -Or if you have done this itinerary on another ship, let me know what you think Thank you
  8. I wonder if Bembridge is going to do one of his regular videos on Hapag because the video is actually a Q&A and he was answering non-Hapag questions. I quickly skipped through it, there were like only 2 or 3 Arctic related questions, one person asked if he saw polar bears and Gary said the bear was actually 1 km away and even with telephoto lens he had to crop it jeff74, I thought charter flights are already included in the fare? Where do you embark and disembark the ship for your cruise? It works out better for me if they aren't included because the embarkation port is Tromso, Norway and I could fly there on my own. One thing I don't like is the hassle to join the ship because the charter flights for my cruise are Germany - Tromso Longyearbyen - Germany It's ok if I plan to visit Germany but have been there couple of times whereas for Seabourn it is only one way charter from Oslo and disembarks in Reykjavik so I can fly home directly from there Has anyone been to Bear Island? Hapag goes there but Seabourn doesn't, I'm wondering it's it ok to skip Also I spent time reading every single Hapag review, I knew it caters to Germans/German-speaking but now I'm not so sure if it will work
  9. ClipperinSFO, thank you I'll check out the new Bembridge video later today. I watched one of his after learning how useful they are on this board, didn't know for Nile cruises they park the boats 3 or 4 deep and Gary was saying how bad the noise and fumes were Wasn't considering Hapag because of the unknown departure city but after reading Whylion's report that Hapag would do English lectures for only 4 people I'm impressed. It's now between Hapag and Seabourn.. Slightly off topic, why are people saying that you should do Antarctica first? I'm going against the flow lol and planning to do Arctic first because I feel I'll be disappointed the other way round. There's lot less wildlife in Arctic (and Greenland) and it's more for scenery so I don't get why
  10. I meant Explora is just as messy as MSC. MSC has terrible reviews and reputation. Lots of availability left for 2024 Explora, the company may have deep pockets I wonder how long they can keep bleeding money...
  11. I'm curious are 2024 Caribbean itineraries unchanged for now? Thank you for letting everyone know about the cancelations/itinerary change. Explora was my #1 choice but have just moved it to bottom of list. I guess for those who just want to enjoy the ship and food it's fine but for me itinerary is the most important. Looks like Explora is just MSC in an expensive shell
  12. @jeff74 "approximately three months before departure you will be informed which German airport the charter flight will take off". Frankfurt? Munich? Berlin? Didn't realize this, I need to know much earlier which city to fly into to arrange flights. Is yours the same situation? Don't think this cruise will work for me, however I like Hapag and they have other good itineraries on Inspiration or Europa 2 that don't involve an unknown city so still interested to know more Looking at Seabourn plus do more searching online....
  13. jeff74, Have heard of Gary Bembridge but never watched his videos, what good timing! If his upcoming video doesn't talk about excursions and lectures, then I will email Hapag to ask ClipperinSFO, it's good there are multiple English language tours in each port for your cruise, probably not the same for the Arctic. I just looked at the Europa 2, did you know the 2024 cruise is different in that there's less time in fjords and visits Oslo instead? You have the much better itinerary, enjoy!
  14. I concur, Hapag is probably the most popular cruise line that doesn't have one. for ex. Hebridean Cruise has its own (haven't heard of this company) but the last post was in 2022
  15. @jeff74 On which Hapag ship? Are you concerned with lack of choice, it seems only one excursion per port is in English or you understand German? Also I don't know if all the lectures will also be in English or a select few, did you or your TA ask Hapag to what degree the cruise will be in English? Thank you
  16. @MamaFej I'm very interested in Azamara because the reviews have been good. I liked the Seabourn itinerary because it has many ports and some of the ports are hard to access land-based or lack comfortable accomodations. Don't think the Azamara one works but thanks so much for your suggestion.
  17. Hi I'm researching a Svalbard & East Greenland combo itinerary and Hapag-Lloyd's Hanseatic Inspiration is one of the few that has this itinerary. Has anyone traveled on this ship? According to Hapag's website, Inspiration and Europa 2 are their two ships that offer "international cruises" and have lectures in English and "one shore excursion in each port of call which will be conducted in English" Read the posted review but I think the reviewer speaks/understands German. However I don't know German at all! @ClipperinSFO Looking forward to your review. Do you understand German? Please report back if all the lectures are conducted in English or only certain ones. I'm concerned with the lack of choice in excursions because only one is in English. Also curious about the food. Thank you and have a good trip! @jeff74 did you book with Hapag-Lloyd? I also looked at Silversea but like Hapag's itinerary better
  18. Has anyone on this site used Aurora Expeditions? I'm interested in a Svalbard & East Greenland combo itinerary and their newest ship Sylvia Earle has one named "Jewels of the Arctic". My concern is there are only 3 days in Svalbard. There's very little info about this company other than some reviews on a popular review site (don't know if I can name it)
  19. @uktog Sorry to hear they are holding your money hostage, hopefully it's returned very soon. I read you have 2 more Explora cruises when is the next one? Did you try to cancel after they canceled the inaugural? @TER777 Are you on the ship now? Approx how long is the wait for Med Yacht the MDR, has it improved by moving the opening time to 6:30pm? Someone wrote earlier about 30 mins in line. Is the MDR and buffet crowded? for the buffet do you have to find an empty table yourself? Thanks very much Surprised there are 750 on board, is there a big number of non-paying guests? Checked the schedule, I think this is the 3rd departure (Aug 1, Aug 8 and Aug 15) and tomorrow there's a 3 day cruise Thank you to everyone posting the helpful info!!
  20. @NunagorasThank you for the welcome and the detailed post @PaulMCO @java spot I didn't know the facebook ones are from travel agents. Is it unusual to have no objective reviews? I think maiden voyage was August 1 so it's been over 2 weeks Right now Explora is my 1st choice. I'm in no hurry, will wait patiently for more info and reviews before deciding. I mentioned on the Seabourn thread that it'll be my first cruise. If I don't find any cruise plus itinerary that I like for 2024, can cruise in 2025 and do land-based trips for 2024. Thank you everyone!!
  21. @java spot are the facebook reports mostly positive? If you don't mind can you briefly tell me what they're saying? I'm not on facebook @Whipsnade Look forward to your review Thank you
  22. I hope it's ok to start a new thread to ask general questions, already looked at all the threads and I don't know where to put mine. Seriously considering a cruise, from the photos the ship is the nicest I've seen but have the following concerns: 1. It seems the January cruises are still quite empty, if they intend to fill it with TA/unpaid guests then no way will I book. Do you think they are going to do that most sailings? Worse I'm worried Explora may drop/change ports prior to the cruise or even cancel the sailing because of low numbers. Also concerning is the lack of reviews besides the "paid" ones. Finally being the same company as MSC gives me no confidence in their ability to handle situations 2. Can someone please summarize and review all the dining options? I read the threads but still confused, to my understanding there is Sakura and Marble, that can be booked only once each (also hard to book) If I don't make a single reservation (because on vacation and don't want to plan ahead), what are my options for lunch and dinner? which restaurants can I walk in with no wait? someone mentioned 30 mins in line that's not good! Is buffet open all 3 meals and is it crowded? Thank you
  23. Been to many countries so I'm looking for islands/places that I've missed and off the beaten path destinations. Saw a very good itinerary about 2 months ago: Seabourn's "Jewels of West Africa", 29 days with only one departure January 2025. A few weeks later when I looked again it became "unavailable". I'm hoping Seabourn offers it again in 2026 with like 4 sailings. I can't book that far in advance and it will likely be sold out again quickly. When does 2026 itinerary come out? Is anyone on this Jan 2025 sailing? The demand is there, I wish the cruise companies offer more in-depth Africa itinerary, for ex Madagascar deserves at least one week but the cruises only visit like 2 ports (so max 2 days there), same situation for Seychelles etc, the only in depth I've seen is South Africa
  24. Hi not sure where to ask this... I'm considering a Caribbean cruise on Silver Moon but after reading the comments here and on 2 popular review sites about inedible food, itinerary changes etc. I'm scared to book. Seabourn has better reviews but Itinerary is the reason why I'm thinking about cruising (my first cruise) and I like those on Silversea best. Do missed ports due to "weather" happen quite often? Are included excursions that bad? packed buses, canceled last minute etc It seems things have really gone downhill on Silversea since last year. Other cruises I'm considering are Explora, Regent and maybe Celebrity. Thank you
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